Like most runners, my eyes instinctively scan the backs of cars in the event there is a runner’s badge slapped somewhere indicating what is most likely their biggest accomplishment.
When I scanned, my parent’s most recent guests who is in our small town of Forsyth for the Quigly shoot, I couldn’t have been more surprised. I had heard about this hunter, this shooter, this family, but never about anyone being a runner…..and someone in this party aint just no everyday runner…..they’re an ultra runner……and this someone aint just no ultra runner……he is a Western States Runner! I am about to be introduced to running greatness, and no one knows just how much I know….and just how excited I am now.
I love these kinds of runners. Not because they have done x numbers of miles, but because there hasn’t been an ultra runner I’ve met that isn’t a solid human being. It takes guts (well beyond the average human guts) to run these types of events….I know because I’ve been there. And the greatest of peoples in my world have done these types of events (I lump Iron Men into this category as well). These people are the real deal. They know more than me. They’re more accomplished than me. And as much as I may have some of my own stories to tell, I love to listen to them talk. I love to hear what it takes to keep going in the middle of the night. I anxiously await them speaking about how they fuel. I’m eager to know what kinds of remedies they have or how they keep issues at bay…….all because maybe one day, I’ll be that runner. The runner that someone else wants, or maybe even needs, to listen to……..
And so I say yes, yes like a little school girl who has gotten asked to her first dance by a cute boy. She has rehearsed saying yes slowly, humbly, as if there was no emotions, but come on…..she screams yes because that is the answer and that is how the answer was meant to be put out into the world. I say yes to the offer to get in a few miles with a running legend. With confidence I tell them I can go any distance, any terrain, any time, any pace…….because I can and I will.
And so I set the alarm, and then another, and maybe even a third, because this is an opportunity that I certainly do not want to sleep through. I lace up and I go. I listen and I learn and I have some of the best runs, in the hills of my parent’s place with a black powder gun shooter that moonlights as an ultra runner.
Groovy Girls Go…….Lucky Enough to be in Montana with a Legend